LOUSIVILLE, Ky. — Aided by a new production line, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC recently manufactured its 250,000th Bendix ADB22X air disc brake at the company’s wheel-end production facility in Bowling Green, Ky.
“Demand more than doubled from 2009 to 2010, and again from 2010 to 2011. We expect another significant increase in 2012. Reaching a quarter million units is a reflection of the growing acceptance of the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake in the North American market,” said Aaron Schwass, vice president and general manager of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, as well as interim product line director for air disc brakes. BSFB began producing the North American air disc brakes in 2005 at the company’s former manufacturing site in Frankfort, Ky.
The Bendix ADB22X air disc brake is part of BSFB’s lineup of wheel-end solutions that meet and exceed the new federal stopping distance requirements mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The patented air disc brake is a lightweight air disc brake design proven to significantly reduce stopping distance and extend brake system life for commercial vehicles.
Rising product demand has helped drive the growth in BSFB’s Bowling Green operations. In recent years, production has increased by more than 100 percent each year over the past few years. The company expects production to grow another 40 percent in 2012, company officials told journalists at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.
To meet demand, BSFB opened an automated production line last summer that tripled the assembly capacity for its North American operation. The new line added 34,000 sq. ft. of capacity to the facility. This year, BSFB is investing $3.8 million in capacity expansion and new equipment.
“The additional capacity helps us to meet the needs of OEMs, fleets, and owner-operators who are looking to extend brake system life and improve highway safety. In ever-increasing numbers, they are choosing the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake,” said Schwass.
The Bendix ADB22X air disc brake is a key part of the company’s ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus four other areas critical to fleets’ success: stopping power, actionable information, reliability, and fuel economy. Bendix understands these considerations are more important than ever today, as fleets operate in the challenging new environment of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), rising fuel costs, and federally mandated reduced stopping distance and emissions standards, the company said.
The first phase of the NHTSA reduced stopping distance mandate required a 30 percent reduction in stopping distance for new three-axle tractors with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings up to 59,600 lbs. and produced after the Aug. 1, 2011, implementation date. Tractors with two axles, as well as severe-service tractors with GVWRs above 59,600 lbs., must comply in the second phase of the new mandate by Aug. 1, 2013.
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake offers all possible brake configurations to meet the new requirements, including all drum brakes, all disc brakes, or a combination of both. In addition to the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake, the drum brake solutions include a new, higher performing version of the company’s Extended Service drum brake (ES brakes).
In addition to significantly reducing stopping distance for commercial vehicles, Bendix said testing shows its air disc brakes are proven to virtually eliminate brake fade with no degradation of stopping power; provide a passenger car-like feel; and permit straight, stable stops. Bendix air disc brakes also offer longer brake life and fast and easy pad replacement, improving uptime for fleets. Extensive field experience has validated the superior performance advantages of air disc brakes relative to stopping distance, pad and rotor life, and brake fade, the company said.
Last year, the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake attained standard position on the steer axle of all Peterbilt Motors Co. Class 8 truck models.
The full lineup of Bendix foundation brake products are commercially available and produced at the company’s manufacturing facility in Bowling Green.
Bendix foundation drum brakes, disc brakes, automatic slack adjusters, and combination spring brakes are produced and made available by Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC under the Bendix brand name.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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